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Oddies History

Not long after the Great War of 1918 the Oddie family took large shop premises in King Street, Clitheroe, Lancashire, next door to what is now a famous wine shop – no reflection on any of the previous owners!  On the ground floor they opened a fabric shop and from the upper floors they began to sell fabrics they sourced as surpluses or redundant stock from local textile factories to other fabric retailers and also to their own shop customers by mail.

The name Oddie is a long established Clitheroe Lancashire district name -descendants today having no known connection whatsoever to the business include Bill Oddie. By coincidence a female Oddie married a member of the farming Bank family at Rimington near Clitheroe in the early 1800's.

In 1964 John Bank opened his first fabric shop in Barnoldswick, Lancashire. Further premises were opened in Clitheroe, Colne, Harrogate and Skipton in the next 10-15 years, the main base being at Primet Bridge in Colne. In 1976 he acquired the Oddies business when, in sadly reduced circumstances, it solely supplied other retailers with redundant fabrics. It still however had one or two longstanding, exceptional and unusual factory contacts which the former owners did not use as fully as they might have done.

In the late 70's Oddies were buying and commissioning designs, having them printed in Brazil and Japan and also importing various fabrics from Portugal, New York and India. Imported fabrics comprised perhaps 50% of Oddies trade by 1980 (with the sad demise of most of the UK textile manufacturing industry and new sources overseas today this figure is over 98%).

In 1978 the company base moved a mighty half mile to Bankfield Mill on Greenfield Road (now a carpet company), increasing from 4,000 to 40,000 square feet of space. By 1987 Oddies had wholesale branches in Bradford, Bristol & Manchester.

In 1984 Mr Bank senior decided to scale down his business activities and closed or sold all shops and the warehouse branches at Bradford, Bristol and Manchester. The company moved to a smaller premises on Greenfield Road - Calderbank Mill - reducing staff from 66 to 6 and concentrating mainly on core “Essential” fabrics.

In 1992 Mr B senior bought 65 Greenfield Road, modestly rechristening it “Bank House”, using half the premises and letting half to pay our premises costs. 

Since then the business has grown exponentially thanks to a new generation of the Bank family focusing on sourcing our own designs and fabric ranges from overseas and wider distribution both in the UK and by export.

In 1999 Oddies bought Rose & Hubble Ltd, a once-great international textile house based in London, acquiring significant stocks and ownership of the brand and all Rose & Hubble copyrighted designs.

Over the past 20 years, Oddies core “Essentials” fabric range has expanded massively and we now have over 100 stock-supported fabric lines. Seasonal Viscose, Satin and Polyester print ranges have been introduced covering multiple ethnic bases. A fantastic range of Cotton Poplin Prints (incorporating Rose & Hubble designs) has been steadily built up and now consists of over 300 designs in multiple colourways.

At Oddies we have always prided ourselves in giving great customer service which is second to none and offering fantastic fabrics at great value.

We hope that you will join us in the next exciting chapter!

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